Made a Mistake at Work? Here’s What to Do

Workplace mistakes: they happen to the best of us.

There’s simply no way to avoid making an error on the job from time to time. Whether they happen because you aren’t paying enough attention or because you misunderstand instructions, workplace mistakes are embarrassing, frustrating and potentially damaging.

But that’s not to say that you can’t undo the damage by handling the situation properly.

If you make a mistake at work, following these steps can help limit the impact of your error.

Don’t Panic

The most important thing to do if you’ve made a mistake is to stay calm. When you panic, you greatly increase your chances of further complicating matters or making an additional error. Take a deep breath. You’ll be much better prepared to deal with the aftermath if you are relaxed.

Assess the Mistake

Before you make any decisions or speak with co-workers, take an overview of what you did and why it occurred. Consider whether or not there is any easy fix for the mistake. Often something that seems like a big mistake, in fact, has a relatively simple solution.

Own Up to It

If your mistake isn’t correctable immediately, it’s imperative that you let your boss know what happened. Hiding mistakes is a terrible workplace habit to adopt. Your boss will appreciate your honesty and, hopefully, support you as you work towards finding a solution.

Offer to Correct the Mistake on Your Own Time

If the mistake you’ve made will cause substantial damage to your organization, you might want to consider offering to fix the situation after hours to make up for it. Often this won’t be necessary, but the gesture demonstrates that you are taking full responsibility for what you did.

For more on how to deal with making a mistake on the job, contact Sparks! We can provide lots of helpful tips for dealing with the aftermath of a workplace error.

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